Steak with Pizzaiola Sauce

Tuesday 9 June 2015

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When I was growing up my mother used to treat us every now and again to a steak supper called Swiss Steak.   It was delicious and one of my father's favourite meals.   Easy to do . . .  it involved beating tougher cuts of steak to tenderize them, browning them and then braising them in a mix of tinned tomatoes and onions.   When I had my own family, I added peppers and herbs to the mix.   Everyone loved it.

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I am thinking that every culture must have one of these man pleasing kind of meals.  This is an Italian Version I am showing you here today, recipe from Cirio  . . .  a delicious dish  . . .  Steak with Pizzaiola Sauce, or Bistecca alla Pizzaiola as it is known in Italian circles.

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Pizzaiola Sauce is a delicious sauce from the Naple region of Italy and incorporates all of the lovely flavours of a pizza sauce . . . .  olive oil, garlic, oregano, tomatoes, onions  . . . similar to swiss steak except that the sauce is served as an enhancement to the meat, the meat it not braised in it, which makes it the perfect steak sauce for some of those tender cuts such as sirloin or rib eyes.  The perfect dish to treat the men in your house with for Father's Day!

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*Steak with Pizzaiola Sauce*
(Bistecca alla Pizzaiola)
Serves 4

This Cirio and Filippo Berio's Classic Italian Sauce from Naples is named after the typical pizza ingredients . . .  olive oil, garlic, oregano and tomatoes, and is every bit as delicious! 

4  (350g) sirloin or rib eye steaks (4 12-ounce steaks)
4 TBS Filippo Berio Olive Oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
pinch of dried oregano
3/4 bottle of Cirio Passata Rustica (scant cup)
6 large basil leaves torn 

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a deep sided frying pan.  Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, until softened without colouring.   Add the garlic and oregano and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.   Pour in the Passata and cook for fifteen minutes longer.   Stir in the basil leaves. 

When ready to serve, heat a griddle or large frying pan until hot.  Rube each steak with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle generously with black pepper.  Cook approximately 3 minutes per side for rare, 5 minutes for medium and 7 minutes for well done.  When the steak is cooked to your liking, remove and allow to rest for five minutes.  Cut into thick slices, pour over the sauce and serve with a green salad. 

Note - Allow the steak to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking!

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I used Cirio Passata for this dish.  I Love the Cirio tomato products.  They are my favourite of all the tinned tomatoes available today and perfect for dishes like this in which you really want the tomato flavour to shine.    Cirio Passatas come from the ripest tomatoes, simply peeled and seive.   The Rustic Passata has a lovely chunky texture which is perfect for dishes such as this, whilst the Smooth Passata with it's creamy texture is great for making pizza and pasta sauces.  It's my passata of choice.

All Cirio Tomato products are made from 100% Italian Tomatoes, harest and processed on the same day and with guaranteed traceability from seed to fork.  Ciro's products creat the real rich and unique "Taste of Italy" ideal for the most discerning chefs and households.

One of my favourite lunches or light suppers in the summer is simply a tin of chilled tomatoes with a slice of buttered bread.  I always choose Cirio, and no . . .  I haven't been paid to say that.  It's the truth.

For more Ciro Recipes check out their YOU TUBE channel.


  1. This recipe looks gorgeous. I agree definitely good for Father's Day. I love Ciro products, I know they cost more, but the flavours better and more tomatoey. Thank you for a fab recipe. Sammie x

  2. You can't put a price on good taste Sammie! Thanks so much for your lovely comment! xx


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